How to Attract Birds to Your Yard
by Jerry Hilburn on Jul 01, 2021
Feed the Birds
First and foremost, birds are motivated by food. That’s why we added three hooks to the Bird Center to give you plenty of options for feeding our feathered friends. Variety is key, and it's important to know what kind of birds are common in your area so that you can provide them with the food they like to eat. Websites like The Spruce have an abundance of articles on bird types so it shouldn’t be too difficult to identify the birds in your yard. Species that feed on insects, such as woodpeckers, are partial to the fattiness of suet, while hummingbirds love simple nectar of one part sugar to four parts water. If you’re looking to attract as many birds as possible with one feed, then Black Oil Sunflower Seeds are the way to go. Ideally, you would have all three as well as some nuts and berries to attract the widest array of birds possible. Feeding the birds will not only attract them to your yard but also keep them from snacking on your ripening tomatoes and apricots!
Yard Butler Tip - Don’t buy the cheap pre-mixed birdseed from the local hardware store. These are typically made with low-quality ingredients that can be harmful to the birds.
Put a roof over their headsBirds will only feel comfortable to come snack on your feed when they feel safe from predators. This is where birdhouses come into play. Once you’ve observed the types of birds in your location, you’ll know their general size and what kinds of birdhouses will suit them best. However, just as with the birdfeed, ideally you would have a couple of options to make any bird that might come by comfortable. Next, install your birdhouse high enough that they can escape any ground predators easily. You can add them to the top hook of your Yard Tree Bird Center, or mount them to a tree.
Some birds, such as goldfinches and orioles, prefer to build their own nests and will likely have no interest in your manmade birdhouse. Because of these species, it is important to have natural nesting areas in your yard. Shrubs and trees are a welcoming home and shelter to many birds, so be careful when you are trimming! The more greenery the better.
Set up a birdbath
Another great feature of our Yard Tree Bird Center is the birdbath. Birds rely on freshwater to drink and clean themselves, and having a safe and consistent spot to do that will make them regulars at your place. If you’re adding a birdbath to your yard, be mindful of what is best for the birds. The big decorative birdbaths sold at garden centers are pretty, but they are often too deep and not suitable for the more common smaller birds. The “perfect” birdbath is shallow with a sloping ledge that allows the birds to slowly make their way into the water. You can also add sticks and rocks for the birds to sit on. If you want to go all out, add a water feature that mimics the sound and effects of a babbling brook or stream. The more you can replicate nature, the more the birds will love it.
Yard Butler Tip - Make sure you clean the water regularly. Dirty standing water can carry diseases and parasites that are harmful to our feathered friends.
Give them building materials
Who doesn’t want a nest of baby birds in their yard? There’s nothing more exciting (and adorable) than seeing their little heads peeking out of the nest chirping at their mom. To encourage birds to build their nests near you, give them the supplies they need to build the perfect nest. Things like string, small sticks, and pet fur are all great examples of prime building materials. You can stuff these into a suet container where the birds can easily pull out what they need without making a huge mess. Other natural debris in your yard like dead flowers and grass clippings are also helpful to the parent birds, so sometimes it’s better not to clean up completely.
In addition to nesting materials, plant native trees and shrubs that the birds feel comfortable hiding their eggs in.
Keep your cats indoors
While letting your cat occasionally roam outside might feel like the more ethical thing to do, the truth is outdoor cats are responsible for the deaths of 2.4 billion birds a year. They’ve also had their hand in the extinction of over sixty-three animal species. This sad statistic means that it’s better for the overall health of the planet to keep domesticated cats indoors. When bird populations die out, it impacts the rest of the local ecosystem on a huge scale. To keep your cats happy inside, provide them with plenty of toys that they may take out their predator instinct on. The birds will thank you by becoming a constant presence in your garden.